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Must Explore Anderson Island in Washington, USA 98303

Anderson-Island

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Anderson Island | Podcast

Anderson Island is a hidden gem nestled in the southern reaches of Puget Sound, located just off the coast of Washington State. This quiet island is a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of city life and offers visitors a chance to unwind in a tranquil natural setting.

Whether you’re looking for a peaceful getaway or a family adventure, Anderson Island has something to offer everyone. In this article, we’ll explore what makes Anderson Island so special, how to get there, what to see and do, and much more.  

About Anderson Island & its Locations

Anderson Island is the southernmost island in Puget Sound and is a part of Pierce County, Washington. The island is approximately 7.79 square miles in size and has a population of just over 1,000 people, most of whom live in the unincorporated community of Anderson Island. The island has several locations worth exploring, including parks, beaches, and natural areas.

One of the island’s main attractions is Andy’s Marine Park, a popular kayaking, fishing, and hiking destination. Other notable locations on Anderson Island include Jacob’s Point Park, which offers stunning views of Mount Rainier, and the Johnson Farm, a historic property that was once a working farm and is now open to the public for tours.

In addition, the island has several beaches, including the aptly named Beach Drive, and several forested trails for hiking and biking.

Anderson Island is also home to a small village center, where visitors can find a general store, a cafe, and a post office. Overall, the island’s relaxed pace of life and natural beauty make it an ideal destination for those seeking a peaceful retreat in a picturesque setting.

Getting There: How to Reach Anderson Island

By Car:

Anderson Island is accessible by ferry from the town of Steilacoom, which is located about 50 miles south of Seattle. From Seattle, take Interstate 5 south to exit 127 for State Route 512.

Follow State Route 512 for about 3 miles, then take the Pacific Avenue exit and turn left onto Pacific Avenue.

Follow Pacific Avenue for about 1.5 miles, then turn right onto South Tacoma Way. Continue on South Tacoma Way for about 3.5 miles, then turn left onto Thorne Lane SW.

Follow Thorne Lane SW for about 3.5 miles, then turn right onto Chambers Creek Road. Continue on Chambers Creek Road for about 5 miles until you reach the town of Steilacoom, where you can catch the ferry to Anderson Island.

By Public Transport:

There is no direct public transportation to Anderson Island, but visitors can take the Pierce Transit bus from Tacoma to the town of Steilacoom, where they can catch the ferry to Anderson Island. The bus departs from the Tacoma Dome Station and takes approximately 40 minutes to reach Steilacoom.

By Train:

The closest Amtrak station to Anderson Island is in Tacoma, approximately 18 miles north of Steilacoom. From the station, visitors can take a taxi or ride-share service to the ferry terminal in Steilacoom.

By Airport:

The closest major airport to Anderson Island is Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, which is approximately 45 miles north of Steilacoom. From the airport, visitors can rent a car, take a taxi or ride-share service, or use public transportation to reach the town of Steilacoom, where they can catch the ferry to Anderson Island.

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Why is it called Anderson Island?

Anderson Island is named after the explorer and fur trader, Dr. Alexander Caulfield Anderson. Dr. Anderson was a chief factor in the Hudson’s Bay Company, which was a fur trading company that operated in Western Canada and the Pacific Northwest during the 19th century.

In 1832, Dr. Anderson was sent on an expedition to explore Puget Sound, where he discovered several islands, including the one that would later become known as Anderson Island. The island was originally named McNeil Island after another member of the expedition but was later renamed in honor of Dr. Anderson’s contributions to the exploration of the region.

Today, Anderson Island is a popular destination for outdoor recreation and relaxation, and its name serves as a reminder of the island’s rich history and connection to the early exploration of the Pacific Northwest.

Is Anderson Island worth visiting?

Yes, Anderson Island is worth visiting, Anderson Island is a beautiful and serene destination that offers a wide range of activities and attractions for visitors. Whether you’re interested in hiking, biking, kayaking, or simply relaxing on the beach, Anderson Island has something to offer.

One of the things that makes Anderson Island unique is its remote location and peaceful atmosphere. Unlike other nearby destinations like Seattle and Tacoma, Anderson Island is relatively undeveloped and offers a sense of tranquility and escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

What is Anderson Island famous for?

Anderson-Island

 

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Anderson Island is also famous for its rich history and unique culture. The island has a small year-round population and a tight-knit community of residents who are dedicated to preserving the island’s unique character and way of life.

Some of the things that Anderson Island is famous for include:

    • The Anderson Island Historical Society is dedicated to preserving the island’s history and heritage.

    • The Anderson Island Farmers Market, offers fresh produce, crafts, and other goods from local vendors.

    • The Johnson Farm Museum showcases the island’s agricultural history and features a collection of historic farm equipment.

    • The Riviera Community Club offers a range of recreational facilities and activities for residents and visitors.

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Top Things to Do: Activities, Things to Do in Anderson Island

Anderson Island is a great destination for outdoor activities and relaxation. Here are some of the top things to do and see on the island:

Hiking and Biking: Anderson Island offers several trails for hiking and biking, including the Jacob’s Point Trail, which offers stunning views of Puget Sound.

Beaches: Anderson Island has several beaches where visitors can relax, swim, and enjoy the natural scenery. The most popular beaches include Andy’s Marine Park and Eagle Beach.

Kayaking and Boating: The island’s calm waters are perfect for kayaking and boating. Visitors can rent kayaks and other watercraft from local outfitters.

Fishing: Anderson Island is a great destination for fishing, with opportunities to catch salmon, trout, and other local species.

Golfing: The Riviera Golf Course is located on Anderson Island and offers a challenging and scenic 9-hole course.

Anderson Island Historical Society Museum: The museum showcases the island’s rich history and heritage, with exhibits on local Native American tribes, early settlers, and the island’s agricultural history.

Johnson Farm Museum: The museum features a collection of historic farm equipment and artifacts, and offers a glimpse into the island’s agricultural past.

Anderson Island Farmers Market: The market is held every Saturday during the summer months and offers fresh produce, crafts, and other goods from local vendors.

Riviera Community Club: The club offers a range of recreational facilities and activities, including a swimming pool, tennis courts, and a clubhouse.

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Visual Delight: Anderson Island Photos

Attraction Points Near Anderson Island

While Anderson Island has plenty to offer in terms of activities and attractions, there are also several nearby points of interest that visitors may want to explore. Here are some of the top attractions near Anderson Island:

Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge: Located approximately 20 miles from Anderson Island, the refuge is home to a diverse range of bird species, as well as other wildlife such as beavers, otters, and coyotes.

Mount Rainier National Park: The park is located approximately 50 miles from Anderson Island and is home to the iconic Mount Rainier, as well as stunning glaciers, meadows, and forests.

Tacoma Museum District: Tacoma, located approximately 30 miles from Anderson Island, is home to several excellent museums, including the Tacoma Art Museum, the Museum of Glass, and the Washington State History Museum.

Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium: The zoo and aquarium, located approximately 30 miles from Anderson Island in Tacoma, is home to a range of animal exhibits, as well as an aquarium featuring marine life from the Pacific Northwest.

Gig Harbor: This picturesque waterfront town is located approximately 20 miles from Anderson Island and offers a range of dining, shopping, and recreational opportunities, as well as scenic views of the harbor.

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Rules and Regulations at Anderson Island

As with any destination, it’s important to be aware of the rules and regulations at Anderson Island to ensure a safe and enjoyable visit. Here are a few key rules to keep in mind:

No fires: Fires are strictly prohibited on Anderson Island, except in designated fire pits and grills.

Respect wildlife: Visitors should refrain from feeding or approaching wildlife on the island, as this can disrupt natural behaviors and potentially be dangerous.

Stay on designated trails: Hiking trails should be followed to avoid damage to the island’s fragile ecosystem.

Leave no trace: Visitors should pack out all trash and leave the island as they found it.

Accommodations: Hotels Near Anderson Island

While Anderson Island is a small community, there are several options for accommodations in the area. Here are a few hotels and lodging options near Anderson Island:

The INN at Gig Harbor: Located approximately 20 miles from Anderson Island, this hotel offers comfortable accommodations with a range of amenities, including an on-site restaurant and fitness center.

Best Western Plus Tacoma Dome Hotel: This hotel, located approximately 30 miles from Anderson Island, offers a convenient location near several of Tacoma’s top attractions, as well as a range of amenities including an indoor pool and free breakfast.

Hampton Inn & Suites Tacoma-Mall: This hotel, located approximately 25 miles from Anderson Island, offers spacious rooms and suites with a range of amenities including a fitness center and indoor pool.

Airbnb: For a more unique and personalized experience, visitors can also consider booking an Airbnb rental on or near Anderson Island.

Food to Eat: Must-Try Dish

No trip to Anderson Island is complete without sampling some of the delicious local cuisines. Here are a few must-try dishes to add to your list:

Steamed clams: Anderson Island is known for its fresh seafood, and steamed clams are a local favorite. Enjoy them with a side of garlic bread for a classic Pacific Northwest meal.

Blackberry cobbler: If you’re visiting Anderson Island in the summer months, be sure to try the blackberry cobbler. Made with fresh, locally grown blackberries, this dessert is a true taste of the island.

Island burger: The Anderson Island General Store serves up a delicious island burger, made with locally sourced beef and topped with all the classic fixings.

Conclusion

Anderson Island may be a small community, but it’s full of charm and natural beauty. From hiking and kayaking to simply enjoying the stunning views, there’s plenty to see and do on this idyllic island. Whether you’re looking for a quiet weekend escape or a fun family vacation, Anderson Island is a destination that shouldn’t be missed.

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Anderson Island FAQ

There are no specific opening hours for Anderson Island as it is a residential community. However, the Anderson Island Historical Society Museum and Johnson Farm are open to visitors during certain days and hours.

There is no parking fee on Anderson Island as parking is available for free.

The only way to access Anderson Island is by ferry. Pierce County Ferry System provides ferry service to and from the island, with multiple trips per day.

Anderson Island is located in Puget Sound in the southern part of Washington state, about 20 miles south of Tacoma.

Yes, Washington has several dog-friendly beaches, including the Owen Beach and Dash Point State Park beach near Tacoma.

Anderson Island is a small and relatively secluded community, so it is not typically crowded with tourists.

Yes, Washington is a popular tourist destination, known for its natural beauty, outdoor recreation opportunities, and cultural attractions.

Yes, swimming is allowed on Anderson Island at the public beach located near the ferry dock.

Yes, there are public restrooms available on Anderson Island at the beach, the marina, and the community park.

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